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Bride approaches the groom from behind for their "first look" on their wedding day

Seattle area wedding photography – Manami and Sam

Wedding of Manami and Sam at Northshore Community Church

The preparations at the church

On May 6 I was the lucky photographer at the wedding of Manami Mishina and Sam Stein, held at the Northshore Community Church in north Kirkland.  My day with the couple began when I arrived at the church a bit before 10AM, so I could get some photos of both the ladies and the men as they finished getting dressed.  The florist was still busy decorating the chapel, but had finished with some of the entry-way decorations which were very nice.

When I went to check up on Manami, I found her with her bridesmaids and both her and Sam’s mother, still working on her makeup.  Sam and the groomsmen were further along in the process, and were just finishing getting into their tuxes.  Not surprising, it’s a lot easier for the guys to get ready than it is for the ladies!

The First Look

Once Manami was finished getting dressed, I placed Sam in a courtyard at the church and had Manami sneak up on him for their “first look”.  Sam’s reaction when he saw Manami in her dress for the first time was priceless!

Photos at Carillon Point

Sam had proposed to Manami at Carillon Point, and they had asked before the wedding day whether it would be possible to go there for some photos to begin our wedding day photo shoot.  I am always happy to go wherever the couple wants on the wedding day, so the three of us climbed into my car and made the short drive to Carillon.  The weather was just about perfect, sunny and warm but not hot!  Since we were in the middle of the wettest spring ever recorded for the area, this was an extremely pleasant surprise and we were happy to make the most of it.  We spent about a half hour walking around Carillon taking photos, making sure that we took a few shots on the exact spot where Sam had proposed to Manami.

Next stop, Juanita Bay Park

Now it was on to our next stop at Juanita Bay Park, where we planned to meet up with the rest of the wedding party as well as the parents of both the bride and groom.  When we arrived everyone else was either already there, or arriving at the same time we did, and our group formed up together and we headed out into the park.  Juanita Bay Park was once a 9 hole golf course, and even though the course closed in 1975 the wide open areas and grass are still reminiscent of the old course.

We moved out into a nice area of the park and did family and wedding party photos, and then while the rest of the group headed for the church, I took Sam and Manami to another area where we got a few more shots of just the two of them.  Then we had to dash back to the church to meet up with grandparents for a few more family photos before the ceremony.

The wedding ceremony

The wedding coordinator at the church had requested that we not do any photos inside the sanctuary within an hour of the planned start time, so when we got back to the church we gathered the grandparents who had already arrived and took a few more photos outside the church – that beautiful weather was really helping us out!  Then the wedding party disappeared to have some snacks and to catch a little rest time before the ceremony.

Before going any further I’d like to list the members of the wedding party.  They were –

– MOH: Yoshimi Mishina
– Bridesmaids: Megumi Ogawa, Monica SoYoung Jang, Harmony Egbe
– BM: Brian Brown
– Groomsmen: Jacob Anderson, Stephen Foskey, Derek Burkett
– Flower Grannies: Pennie Cooper, Retha Padlo
– Ring Bearer: Tadayuki Mishina

The ceremony began with Manami and Sam’s mothers lighting the candles that would later be used for the Unity Candle ceremony.  The “Flower Grannies” then spread flowers on the carpet, and then Manami was brought down the aisle by her father.  The ceremony went flawlessly, and a short time later we had some brand-new newlyweds!

The Reception


I accompanied the newlyweds to the minister’s office to photograph them signing their marriage license while the guests moved into the reception area.  Once all of the guests had been seated Manami and Sam made their grand entrance to the applause of the assembly.  Their first dance as husband and wife followed shortly thereafter, and then everyone got down to the serious business of eating, drinking and just generally having a good time at the party!  Lots of good dancing, speeches, cake cutting, etc. and in what seemed like a very short time the reception was coming to a close, and the couple prepared to leave. They were given a great send-off by their guests, who did an outstanding job of blowing a large quantity of bubbles for the bride and groom to walk through on the way to their car.

Photos of the day follow below, I hope you like them!

Decorated table at the entrance to the church for the wedding of Manami and Sam
The bride is worked on by her makeup artist while the bridesmaids watch
The bride ir reflected in a hand mirror as her makeup nears completion
The groom helps his best man with tying his tie.
Groom and groomsmen pose for a group shot in the dressing room just before the wedding ceremony
Close up photo of one of the table settings/guest gifts in the reception hall
Photo of the decorated head table for the bride and groom, before the ceremony
Close up photo of the bride's bouquet, with decorations visible but blurred in the background
The bride helps her sister/maid of honor adjust her dress right before the wedding ceremony begins
The bride and bridesmaids helps her sister/maid of honor adjust her dress right before the wedding ceremony begins
Sepia toned close up photo of the detail of the back of the bride's dress
Black and white close up of the bride immediately before the her "first look" with the groom
The bride approaches her groom for their "first look" on their wedding day, he is blurred in the foreground
The bride approaches the groom for their "first look", while he is faced away from her approach
Bride reaches out to tap her groom's shoulder from behind at their pre-wedding "first look" or "reveal"
Bride surprises her groom for their "first look" or "reveal"




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